A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 822 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 14.
only sight we had of this isle.  From hence I steered S.S.W. 1/2 W. for Otaheite, with a view of falling in with some of those isles discovered by former navigators, especially those discovered by the Dutch, whose situations are not well determined.  But it will be necessary to return to the Marquesas; which were, as I have already observed, first discovered by Mendana, a Spaniard, and from him obtained the general name they now bear, as well as those of the different isles.  The nautical account of them, in vol. i. p. 61, of Dalrymple’s Collection of Voyages to the South Seas, is deficient in nothing but situation.  This was my chief reason for touching, at them; the settling this point is the more useful, as it will in a great measure fix the situations of Mendana’s other discoveries.

The Marquesas are five in number, viz.  La Magdalena, St Pedro, La Dominica, Santa Christina, and Hood’s Island, which is the northernmost, situated in latitude 9 deg. 26’ S., and N. 13 deg.  W., five leagues and a half distant from the east point of La Dominica, which is the largest of all the isles, extending east and west six leagues.  It hath an unequal breadth, and is about fifteen or sixteen leagues in circuit.  It is full of rugged hills, rising in ridges directly from the sea; these ridges are disjoined by deep vallies which are clothed with wood, as are the sides of some of the hills; the aspect, however, is barren; but it is, nevertheless, inhabited.  Latitude 9 deg. 44’ 30” S. St Pedro, which is about three leagues in circuit, and of a good height, lies south, four leagues and a half from the east end of La Dominica; we know not if it be inhabited.  Nature has not been very bountiful to it.  St Christina lies under the same parallel, three or four leagues more to the west.  This island stretches north and south, is nine miles long in that direction, and about seven leagues in circuit.  A narrow ridge of hills of considerable height extends the whole length of the island.  There are other ridges, which, rising from the sea, and with an equal ascent, join the main ridge.  These are disjoined by deep narrow vallies, which are fertile, adorned with fruit and other trees, and watered by fine streams of excellent water.  La Magdalena we only saw at a distance.  Its situation must be nearly in the latitude of 10 deg. 25’, longitude 138 deg. 50’.  So that these isles occupy one degree in latitude, and near half a degree in longitude, viz. from 138 deg. 47’ to 139 deg. 13’ W., which is the longitude of the west end of La Dominica.

The port of Madre de Dios, which I named Resolution Bay, is situated near the middle of the west side of St Christina, and under the highest land in the island, in latitude 9 deg. 55’ 30”, longitude 139 deg. 8’ 40” W.; and north 15’ W. from the west end of La Dominica.  The south point of the bay is a steep rock of considerable height, terminating at the top in a peaked hill, above which you will see a path-way leading up a narrow ridge to

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